Sunday, February 20, 2011

Was this Friday the 13th?

Friday had dawned bright and sunny with a continued promise of the unseasonably mild and pleasant temperatures. We had every intention of getting much accomplished--errands run, routine house "duties" taken care of, working on my next couple of chapters of my novel--but all plans were quickly dashed mid-morning thanks to an unforeseen break in our sump pump outlet pipe! You can probably imagine where I'm heading with this! 

As I worked at my writing desk in my office, which is located directly above the sump pump's location in the basement, I could hear the pump kicking on every few minutes. Not giving it much thought, since all of our snow had melted during the week-long thaw, I kept working away on trying to get chapter seven to fit in with what I'd already written. A while later, I casually mentioned to my wife who was about to go downstairs for something or other to "check on the sump pump and make sure it's not just stuck or something." (We'd had a problem previously with the check valve) 

A minute or so later, her shout startled me--at first I thought she was kidding--that we did, in fact, have water all over the carpet in that section of the basement! Quickly joining her, I could see that she wasn't joking. My heart skipped up quite a few notches as I felt the sloshing and squishing as I walked over to the pump "housing" and saw that the water was simply being pumped out of the hole--but not outside--thanks to the broken PVC pipe. Instead, it was simply finding its way to our carpet. In almost a state-of-panic now, I simply unplugged it, thus preventing any further damage. 

Now, about the carpet...
Just over one week before, we had finally decided to finish our basement with the installation of carpet! We'd been planning for some time--in many stages--and this was to be the final phase of our basement project. Again you probably can imagine how helpless and frustrated we were becoming, realizing that we were pretty helpless to "undo" what had already happened. The first thing, however, was to get a plumber here ASAP to repair the broken pipe; second, was to somehow sop up the water as best we could to try to get the carpet dried out, sooner or later.

Long story short...
A plumber arrived within the hour and had the repair to the broken pipe done in short time--thus preventing any further problems. I borrowed a couple of shop vacs and we put them to work for most of the rest of the day, feeling that we were making some progress. We used towels as "blotters" to sop up as much as we could. We had several fans positioned around to attempt to dry things out. I worked yesterday in much the same fashion, and although most of the major water had been sucked up and/or blotted up, the carpeting was simply too wet. 

My wife had the idea to stop by the carpet store where we'd bought it, and they told her that despite our valiant efforts and methods, we would never get the thing dried out completely as the padding underneath would be too saturated. Our best bet would be to pull up the part that was wet, remove the padding, and try to dry out the carpeting. If the underside of the carpeting was still intact, they could work with getting it back in place with new padding underneath. That's where we stand now, and I need to go down and carry up the remaining pieces of the soggy padding and make sure the fans are directed on the carpeting. We will call in the carpet guys tomorrow and set something up. Stay tuned.

And as I close this, may I point out that it's raining steadily. I'm thinking: "Keep working sump pump--and outlet pipe!" What's done is done--an ancient adage--but one that is still very much so true. Water under the bridge--or out of the sump pump--I guess!

Down the road we go...MLA

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